EMU's student government budget differs from other Michigan universities

Eastern Michigan University Student Government’s reserve account is currently at $90,389.20. This is in addition to the 2014-15 budget of $256,439.35.

Expenditures from reserve accounts are not regulated by Student Government bylaws or voted on by the Student Government Senate. As currently constructed, Student Government President Desmond Miller has sole authority on use of the reserves.

“Having a reserve is important for emergencies,” Miller said. “We do have a big budget but it would be horribly stressful having a changing budget.”

Central Michigan University Student Government has an annual budget of $21,000. This budget comes from a university-allocated fund that covers all student organizations, with CMU Student Government taking 2.5 percent of the student organization budget. CMU Student Government does not have a reserve account.

At CMU, whatever money is not used by the Student Government goes back into the Student Organization Fund to be dispersed at the beginning of the next school year.

Western Michigan University Student Government is not given an annual budget, but a budget each semester. This gives WMU Student Government an opportunity to adjust the budget more frequently.

Western’s estimated budget based off last semester and this year’s fall semester is about $63,000.

WMU Student Government does not have a reserve account. The money that goes unused is rolled over into the next school year, but that means they get less money at the beginning of the school year. Keeping the budget around the same $31,000 a semester.

Grand Valley State University has an annual budget of approximately $30,000. This money is from a student organization budget that the GVSU Student Government helps to divide.

GVSU does not have a reserve account. The money that is not used goes back to the university.

“I have not experienced nor do I anticipate an emergency that needs such deep funds,” GVSU Student Government President Andrew Plague said.

Saginaw Valley State University has an annual budget of $142,000 with a reserve account of $40,000. $52,000 is used for the other student organizations on campus, which leaves the SVSU Student Government with $90,000 for other expenditures.

SVSU is one of the only other universities in Michigan that has a reserve account similar to EMU Student Government’s. Any money not used is moved to the reserve account. This reserve account is an emergency fund. The student government has complete discretion with the reserve funds.

“It is common of Student Governments at several universities to use student fees to cover part of the budget,” Miller said. “But the difference between Central, Western, Grand Valley, Saginaw Valley and Eastern Student Governments is that Central, Western, and Grand Valley is that the Student Governments give the unused money back to the University or the Student Organization funds.”

SVSU Student Government and EMU Student Government use part of their budget to fund student organizations on campus.

CMU, WMU and GVSU do not fund student organizations with the budgeted money. Rather the student governments work with the Dean of Student Organizations to decide where to allocate money to each student organization.

CMU, WMU and GVSU adjust their budgets each year so they are not taking more than they plan to use based on what they have used in the past as well as the upcoming year’s proposed endeavors.


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